And so the big week of the 50-miler arrived. I started out the week feeling pretty confident and a little flippant about it, but as the day got closer, so too the nerves increased. Standard. Full report of the race to come soon
Expected: 20-30min conditioning
Actual: Another Full Potential conditioning videos from YouTube this time Mobility and Conditioning for Runners. Yep, still haven’t been to the gym in forever… 🙄
Expected: 15min easy, 15min threshold, 15min easy
Actual: After last week’s battles with ‘threshold’ pace, I decided to replace the word with ‘steady’ in my head. Somehow this meant I could deal with the effort much better, and much more easily sustain throughout the 15min. Only a ~10sec decrease in average speed (4:39/km), so likely means I’ve been doing threshold runs too fast anyway.
[10km, 53:25, 5:20/km, 160bpm]
Expected: 30min easy + stretch
Actual: Went out with Sye to show him the new loop. Had a few niggles here and there but I’m pretty sure they were just nerves before the weekend!
[5.1km, 30:04, 5:52/km, 147bpm]
Expected: 30min easy + strides
Actual: Oops I forgot to do the strides. Instead I used this run to test out whether I could charge my Garmin on-the-go… turns out you can’t. Damnit! At least I tested it ahead of it likely running out of battery before the 50mile race finishes. Travelled to London and spent the afternoon reading Run or Die by Kilian Journet at a library before meeting some friends.
[3.38km, 19:50, 5:52/km, 152bpm (watch stopped to charge) + 1.84km, 10:21, 5:38/km, 150bpm]
Expected: Rest day
Actual: Met Sye and we had a lazy, slow day ahead of the race. Big faff when I realised there were no taxis left to take us to the start of the race in the morning, but our wonderful AirBnB host came to the rescue and offered to drop us at 6:30am! Legend!
Expected: North Downs Way 50 mile
Actual: For all the confidence I felt going into this race, the simple reality is that I had no understanding of just how bloody far 50 miles is. The first half of the race was fun, and I got a bit carried away with my pace on the runnable sections. In the second half we hit all the hills though and boy, were they tough. I walked a lot towards the end and got quite dispirited because it was taking hours to cover 10km. However, I saw so many people I know out on the course and had lovely chats with people along the way, which made a big difference. The volunteers were totally fantastic, and at the last aid station there were ice lollies! It was an experience I won’t forget, even if afterwards I swore I’d never run that far ever again.
[69.7km, 8:52:32, 7:43/km, 149bpm, 1645m+ (low battery) + 12.3km, 1:55:18, 9:20/km]
Actual: Slept, caught the Eurostar, ate chocolate, took a bath 🛀
Three good things for this week
- I RAN* 50 MILES. WOAH!
- I DON’T HAVE TO RUN 50 MILES AGAIN!
- I get to enjoy a niiiiiice recovery without guilt, because I ran 50 miles damnit!
Three things to improve on
- Want to keep trying the steady/threshold pacing and find the sweet spot of speed and effort.
- Reading my training plan properly, and actually doing what it says (aka, not forgetting strides or stretching)
- … I mean, maybe I want to try and improve on my 50mile time again some day…